Tanay Parola, The Lakeside Beacon

Friday, March 28, 2014

Parola is "lighthouse" in Spanish. It is a foreign word that had slithered its way into the Filipino language. And although the Tanay Parola had been built in 1960, long after the reign of the Spaniards, it serves as a monument to their enduring influence. Painted a bluish white, a true maritime color scheme, it towers along a wide path of cement and stone, looking out into the vastness of Laguna de Bay. Upon ascending its spiral stairway, one gets to see a 360-degree view of the lake. With silhouettes of mountains discernible from the top of the lighthouse, calm water and blue sky forming the length of the horizon, one should not be surprised if the Parola was an easy source of inspiration for poets and painters. 

It is found in Brgy. San Isidro P. Burgos, on the edge of the Laguna Lake. And though the sun was high and blaring impolitely during our visit, it wasn't hard to imagine the Parola as a beacon at night. I could picture fishermen relying on its stream of light to guide their ways. I didn't get to ask if the lighthouse was still functioning; it would be awesome if it did. 

A view from the top
If the wind was strong below, it was much more intense when we were atop the lighthouse. It didn't really matter though, because, as I've mentioned, the view was spectacular. The long dock also provides room for a number of activities. You can go for a run or a bicycle ride, or a long walk to clear your mind. There are no entrance fees to be paid when you go to this place, I should mention. 

In any case, the Tanay Parola was supposed to be our last stop for our Tanay Adventure. Our plan was just to take several pictures before finally heading home. On our way there, however, Kuya Lester mentioned that there were available boats for rent for a mere 20pesos per person. The four of us got all jumpy and immediately announced our interest in taking a boat ride across Laguna Lake. So after taking pictures, we excitedly boarded what Pareng Marty called "the gayest boat of them all." With the flashy banderitas, an interesting color palette and an undulating United Kingdom flag stuck to its roof, you couldn't help but smile upon setting eyes on the outrigger.

Our "captain" was Ka Erning and he took us for a 20-minute tour of the lake. We passed by a couple of locals, chest-deep in the murky water, apparently harvesting kuhol - a type of mollusk. We circled fish pens, even spotting a gliding seagull trying to pluck an unwitting tilapia (or bangus) from the enclosure. Every fish pen had an outhouse, and all of them had dogs guarding them. Everytime we got near one, the guard dog (or dogs, sometimes there was more than one) would bark vehemently at us. I was a little worried that they might leap toward us. But they didn't, hooray!

With Ka Erning, our veritable captain
After our somewhat relaxing boat ride, we got on Kuya Lester's tricycle and decided to call it a day. But Kuya Lester had other plans. He brought us to the San Ildefonso Church, which was a five-minute ride from the Parola. I think he didn't get the reaction he was looking for, though. Hehe. I had to explain to him that we were not religious per se. He laughed and proceeded to bring us to a gas station where we could ride a jeep bound for Angono. 

We only rented a ride, he gave us value-added services
Well, that's it for my Tanay Adventure. I hope to go back here and explore the other attractions this town has to offer (there was still a lot). I really have no excuse not to come back since it's easily accessible from my hometown, not to mention adventures here are very budget-friendly.

This won't be the last time Tanay will hear from me. :)

Cheers to next adventure!

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  1. I am not surprised that you remember all the person's name and the every episodes that happened during our adventure. This blog entry including the other two were written very detailed that it brings me back to that same day all over again. Sorry this comment took so long. I cannot pick in particular which of the three activities that we had I like the most, but If I have to rank them I would pick the adventures inside the caves my number one because… what can I say I like the mountains… I like them from above and below.

    And then I would pick this one – the lighthouse, because I feel that although I know I’m quite loud at times during our escapades, deep down inside I would want to be like a light house enjoying the solace of solitude. And also because the light house always seems to be staring and observing everything that surrounds it. (So yea, I like to stare and make tunganga and be in the zone to do my daydreamings) I also like to think of the idea that it stands guard of its terrain.

    And last but not the least, I put the Daranak and Batlag falls on the third rank because I didn’t quite enjoy them as much as the other two because (1) I am not a good swimmer. There were limited spots where I can swim and (2) there were too many slippery rocks. I do not enjoy slime plus I think that I am too slippery myself.

    The whole experience wouldn’t be as pleasurable as it already was without the help of Kuya Lester who was very kind to be our tour guide, and who made sure we got to try all sorts of things during our whole adventure!

    And oh! I surely enjoy the ride on the boat! More time for my day-dreamings. Hehehe.  Thanks again Celine for inviting me and Julius. We had a great time. 

    1. Hi, French Fries!

      You and me both! The spelunking adventure is my favorite of all the three! I wanted to live in the cave and be known henceforth as the Tagabantay. Hehehe.

      I knew the Parola would bring out the Poetess in you, cos it brought out mine. I love the symbolism that you'd associated with the lighthouse. It truly is like a steadfast and enduring sentinel. You really do have an artist's mind.

      I giggled at this: I do not enjoy slime plus I think that I am too slippery myself. :) Well, I enjoyed the trek to the falls (I love being exhausted. Hihi). I also found the murmurs of the falling water to be quite therapeutic. But I can relate to the swimming dilemma. I wish I were a better swimmer.

      And a high-five for Kuya Lester! *apir*

      Thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment, French Fries! Pinasaya mo ko. :)

      And don't mention it. You know how much Dennis and I enjoy adventuring with you and Pareng Marty. :)

      PS: Dennis had recently bought me a pair of pink Helikon trekking shoes from Sandugo. He'd also bought a pair of trekking sandals for himself. I wanted a ssssssshhhk pair too but I worry that the wide base of the sandals would be cumbersome. Anyway, we mimicked you and Julius' style. Hihi. So don't be surprised if our footwear are coordinated the next time we went on an adventure. :)

  2. Hahahaha. At first I didn't quite understand the sssssshhhhhhk but then I remember the conversation where that originated. Gulong ako kakatawa. Hahaha. :)

    Alright! you have your trekking shoes now! Let's climb some mountains!! :) Anyways, I recommend you stick with your trekking shoes for the meantime because the rocky mountains will ruin your toes if you rather choose the sandals over them. So use the trekking shoes muna. :) and invest on a tent na. :)

    Till next adventure!

    1. Hehehe. Gumulong din ako kakatawa nung sinabi mong gumulong ka kakatawa sa sssssshhhhhkkk. Meron na akong ssssshhhkkk na sandals pero pang walking lang siya, not recommended for tramping. Hehe.

      Yes! Let's go conquer mountains! I wanna get dirty, slip in muddy terrain, get bruised, get splintered and blistered! Actually, Dennis and I had been looking into a sleeping bag already. Hehehe. Nauna ang sleeping bag sa tent. :)

      Cheers to the next adventure! :)

  3. Hahaha! I didn't get the ssssshhhkk word at first too. Then after texting Celine, na pa Aaaaaaahhh na lang ako, sound of velcro nga pla yun. Hahaha! XD

    I wish I have 6-month vacation twice every year. (T.T)

    Let's go trekking and explore the world! :D

    1. Hahaha. Wag din slow minsan, babe. Joke laaaaang. :)

      6-month vacation twice a year? Di ka na nagtrabaho. Hehehehe. Don't worry, we'll go on adventures each time we get a chance. :)

      Love you, my Adventure Buddy For Life!